Saturday, August 28, 2010

Living Outside the Box


Halfway down the steep path that leads from the house to the river. Walking down it is like a freefall.

Everything at Tanglewood pitches forward towards the river - including me, should say. Only the trees stand at a true vertical, and the house itself, thank God. At Whitings Neck, the Potomac is so serpent-like, looping and switching back and forth. I read somewhere once upon a time that a meandering river is an old river.

Water is so powerful, and so very patient. It kept rushing past the limestone, rushing, running, flooding, receding, flowing, year in and year out, century after century after aeon, until it wore away the rock, creating the steep cliffs on the W. Virginia side of Whitings Neck.

Water vs. rock? If you give the water time, it will always triumph. The river vs. Reya? When I'm there, I want to sommersault into the water, sink to the bottom, or perhaps be carried along on the current down to the Chesapeake Bay. It's very seductive.


The cabin at Tanglewood. The shed on the left is Rod's studio.

When I stay at Tanglewood, after a day or two I begin to biodegrade. Rod, one of the men who currently holds the deed on Tanglewood, calls it "going feral." When I go to the beach, I usually decide to forego my urban habit of wearing wear make-up. When I go to Tanglewood, I don't even THINK about make-up. After a few days there I can't remember what I look like in make-up. I forego all my usual standards of appearance in order to dance in shamanic alignment with the wildness of that place. It's not a conscious act. Wow.

In the evenings, after a day of slowly tumbling (energetically) into the river, being worn away by the power of the Potomac, biodegrading in the hammock under the trees, I take a nice shower (outdoor showers are SO COOL), wash my hands and face, and enter the absolutely beautiful civilization of the indoors. Rod and Tom have made Tanglewood inviting, cozy, and beautiful. It is a nest for humans, it really is.

It's a restorative, humanizing, healing dynamic - honoring the wild by day, then moving with gratitude into the comforts of home and friendship by night. What a great vacation!


From the terrace. Those trees on the other side of the Potomac? They're in Maryland.

19 comments:

steven said...

reya - it's such a good thing when fairy land, the dream world and your life get to wrap 'round each other into a braid and you can consciously experience it all! what a beautiful place - it even feels beautiful through your pictures and words. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven! You always say the perfect thing. How do you do it? I love the way your heart thinks.

Everton Terrace said...

My heart is longing for this place now. Sigh, it looks like a movie and a wonderful place to just "be". So glad you were restored.

Whitney Lee said...

Wow. I wouldn't mind tumbling into the river myself. Sometimes young motherhood just saps the everything right out of me. I'm glad you're feeling restored.

ellen abbott said...

What a beautiful place. How could you not have a restorative experience there. No wonder your cold fled after a few hours. I could seriously sink into that place...river front property, my dream.

Oh and welcome home.

And what does Rod do in his studio?

Angella Lister said...

Wow, the beauty and magic of this place comes through in your pictures and your words. So glad you're feeling better.

Nancy said...

Perfect. It sounds absolutely perfect!

debra said...

There are places that are like that--so magical, so organically connecting that, when we are there, we return to ourselves, silently silently.

Tom said...

i can't begin to say how great that all looks. sigh

janis said...

So different from what I am use to from your city photos, and I do love these as well. I felt transported... I felt the gravitating toward the water, the calmness of the cabin. I could almost smell it. So lovely! Thank you for inviting us in today.

Reya Mellicker said...

Tanglewood is a welcoming place, in spite of all its wildness. There are moments - you know - snakes, poison ivy, stink bugs and such - but Rod and Tom navigate their way through all that so gracefully. Both of them grew up on farms.

Ellen Rod works in many media - he wouldn't show me what he's working on at the moment - he has a show in November he's getting ready for.

The Bug said...

I feel restored just looking at the pictures!

Linda Sue said...

I am sure you laugh in the face of stink bugs and snakes- PSHAH! Your holiday photos have stayed with me while pounding out another cushion- given me deep peaceful joyful thoughts- thank you.

Vicki said...

Your pictures tell a beautiful story, and I still say you should write a book with pic's. And you would be a star. It is just like a fairy land!

Reya Mellicker said...

It is literally a fairyland, Vicki. Oh yeah.

moonshin said...

perfect hide-out to get away for a while, from everything. beautiful...

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

And this is why it is referred to as "almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains...". What a perfect spot and the house/home is delicious.

Steve Reed said...

I wonder if it's possible to canoe down the Potomac to the Chesapeake?? That WOULD be a cool trip.

Reya Mellicker said...

I think Great Falls would put an end to any canoe trip ... I'm sure once upon a time people did it.